Titane (2021) is a bold and wildly transgressive French drama-thriller starring Agathe Rousselle as Alexia, a showgirl living with a titanium plate embedded in her skull—the result of a devastating car accident as a child. With a strange and overpowering attraction to automobiles as an adult, Alexia is impregnated by a Vintage Cadillac in a moment of supreme surrealism.
As the storyline progresses, Alexia is further revealed to be a brutal serial killer on the run from the police, hiding out in her parents' home. Shaving her head and masquerading her body, Alexia absorbs the identity of a missing boy named Adrien Legrand and relinquishes herself to the police as the long lost Adrien. She's quickly retrieved by Adrien's fire captain father Vincent (Vincent Lindon) and openly embraced as the missing boy—Vincent never questioning her bizarre appearance. Instead he immerses her into his firehouse lifestyle, making her an apprentice fireman amongst his men while desperately clinging to the illusion of his son's miraculous survival.
Written and directed by French filmmaker Julia Ducournau (Raw), Titane is an outrageous premise made simply extraordinary by means of Ducournau's exceptional prowess as a storyteller—not to mention the absolutely otherworldly performances of both Rousselle and Lindon. They both deliver awards-caliber portrayals of lost souls at the very end of the line, desperately dependent upon one another despite Alexia's glaring deterioration as her otherworldly childbirth draws near. Certainly not for all tastes, Titane is an altogether jaw-dropping and undeniably heart-rending viewing experience.
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